For much of my life, I’ve been told that close is only good enough when playing horseshoes or throwing hand grenades. Why, oh why, didn’t anybody mention that it also applies to lightning!!! (That title pic is just a random lighting pic, not one of mine, and not the actual lightning at the heart of this post.)
An Eddy in the Flow of Time
Not being The Flash, Bill, Ted, Marty McFly, and lacking access to a time portal, this blog tries to stick to chronological order. And at that, I am woefully behind in that I’ve yet to provide my witticisms about time in Grenada, the trip from Grenada to the US Virgin Islands, my trips to the Virgin Islands, the passage from the Virgin Islands to the Bahamas, or the grand plan of bring Wild Rumpus up the eastern coast of the U.S. during hurricane season.
[Hint: any time I mention “grand plan” something went off the rails. Oh, also, if I refer to myself as “smart,” I did something dumb.]
Well, those plans took a huge kick in the privates in early July. And this is that story.
Pretend I told you all about the great sailing from Grenada to the USVI and then from the USVI to Turks and Caicos, and then again onto Freeport, Bahamas — a mere 1800 miles or so of sailing.
So, now that you are all caught up, the plan was to leave The Bahamas in early July and head off to Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is an awesome little coastal town that is about 550 miles by boat from Grand Bahama. This was to be Teresa’s first passage involving overnight sailing.
Our crew gathered at basically the only resort on Grand Bahama since it was pretty much destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
We visited the Xquisite Catamaran Center, which is where we left Wild Rumpus after the voyage from the Virgin Islands. Although this facility’s resort areas were still being renovated when we left Wild Rumpus there, the dock was solid, filled with other Xquisite Catamarans, and the crew was the same Xquisite representatives who have worked on Wild Rumpus since Cape Town.
For the voyage from the Bahamas to Charleston, the crew of five was to be Stacey, Eric, Lisa (not previously mentioned on the blog, but a friend and sailor from Sausalito), Teresa, and me. We were in a waiting pattern to get to the boat as it was on land at the yard after having the bottom paint applied. (Note: As I learned, bottom paint can last a few years OR about nine thousand miles — not both.). So, we killed time at the pool, the beach, kayaking, and drinking (in moderation, of course).
And Then We Got The Kick in the Metaphorical Nuts
After Wild Rumpus was put in the water, the maintenance crew started some final warranty and other repairs when they noticed that some electronics did not work. As they investigated, the problems grew. Various control boards seemed fried. Ultimately, the determination was that we suffered a NEAR lightning strike while in the boatyard. Another Xquisite suffered the same fate as well.
So, the boat was not safe to be sailed, the passage was off, and Teresa and I flew home. Stacey, Eric, and Lisa flew off to another part of the Bahamas — a story that may end up in Eric’s blog someday.
I won’t belabor this — at least not in this post. But, suffice it to say we called the insurance company, got a survey, have repairs ordered and underway, got some questionable customer service, got some rather good customer service, had some legal issues, decided not to pursue those legal issues, waved our fists in anger at the sky, pulled what little hair remains around the rim of my skull in frustration (well, only I pulled that hair), and then settled down to wait — patience being one of my most notable attributes.
At the time of this blog post, we are about two weeks from Wild Rumpus being ready to sail.
The new plan is for Stacey and Eric to sail Wild Rumpus to Florida and then work their way up the coast to New York. We’ll be in New York, weather and Neptune permitting, October 1 for a week. Unfortunately, the new passage schedule conflicts with other obligations, so Teresa and I won’t be on the boat until October. After that, we will head back to the USVI for the season. More details to follow.